Part Five (of ‘Don’t Count Your Children Until they’ve Had the POX!’ Series) – Cholera: The Disease that Inspired Bram Stoker to Write Dracula? & A Tale of Two Pathogens.

Local legend has it that some people were buried alive, so great was the haste to dispose of the corpses. The scenes at night around Sligo only served to heighten the sense of dread in the town. Tar barrels were lit in the streets in a misguided attempt to purify the air... Doctors valiantly attempted to stem the outbreak, and had to contend with widespread ignorance about the disease. There was also suspicion that the medics themselves may have brought the disease upon the town -- they had conducted tests on the water to see if the epidemic had started there, and word spread that the water had been tampered with. Even when five of the doctors contracted cholera and died, the allegations continued...


Part Four (of Don’t Count Your Children Until They’ve had the POX Series) Typhus: Filling in the Gaps

A History of Epidemics in Britain, Volume II … The best illustrations of the greater severity and fatality of typhus among the well to do come from Ireland, in times of famine... But it may be said here, so that this point in the natural history of typhus fever may not be suspected of exaggeration, that the enormously greater fatality of typhus (of course, in a smaller number of cases) among the richer classes in the Irish famines, who had exposed themselves in the work of administration, of justice, or of charity, rests upon the unimpeachable authority of such men as Graves, and upon the concurrent evidence of many... Creighton, C., (1894, 189)

Part Three (of ‘Don’t Count Your Children Until They’ve Had The POX!’) The Many ‘Typhoid Marys…’

Refusing Quarantine: Why Typhoid Mary Did It Health officials lost track of her for a few years, but found her again in the midst of another typhoid outbreak, this time at a Manhattan maternity hospital where 25 people, mostly doctors and nurses, were infected. Mary had been cooking there under a fake name, but fled before health officials could catch her. They traced her to a house in Queens, where they had to sneak in through a second-story window, using a ladder, to apprehend her, according to the Times report on the event...